The first time it comes out of her mouth, I’ll smile gleefully. As she repeats “No! No! No!” I’ll laugh, overjoyed. At a young age, she’ll have mastered a wonderful skill. A skill I’m still trying to learn. I know I’ll have to teach her that she has to eat her vegetables, and she has to take a nap. But “No” is not wrong. It is not disobedience.
1. She will know her feelings are valid.
2. She will know that when I no longer guide her, she still has a right to refuse.
The first time a boy pulls her hair after she says no, and the teacher tells her “boys will be boys,” we will go to her together, and explain that my daughter’s body is not a public amenity. That boy isn’t teasing her because he likes her, he is harassing her because it is allowed. I will not reinforce that opinion. If my son can understand that “no means no” so can everyone else’s.
3. She owes no one her silence, her time, or her cooperation.
The first time she tells a teacher, “No, that is wrong,” and proceeds to correct his public school, biased rhetoric, I’ll revel in the fact that she knows her history; that she knows our history. The first time she tells me “No” with the purpose and authority that each adult is entitled, I will stop. I will apologize. I will listen.
4. She is entitled to her feelings and her space. I, even a a parent, have no right to violate them.
5. No one has a right to violate them.
The first time my mother questions why I won’t make her kiss my great aunt at Christmas, I’ll explain that her space isn’t mine to control. That she gains nothing but self doubt when she is forced into unwanted affection. I’ll explain that “no” is a complete sentence. When the rest of my family questions why she is not made to wear a dress to our reunion dinner. I will explain that her expression is her own. It provides no growth to force her into unnecessary and unwanted situation.
6. She is entitled to her expression.
When my daughter leaves my home, and learns that the world is not as open, caring, and supportive as her mother, she will be prepared. She will know that she can return if she wishes, that the real world can wait. She will not want to. She will not need to. I will have prepared her, as much as I can, for a world that will try to push her down at every turn.
7. She is her own person. She is complete as she is.
I will never punish my daughter for saying no. I want “No” to be a familiar friend. I never want her to feel that she cannot say it. She will know how to call on “No” whenever it is needed, or wanted.
As civilian casualties mounted on Monday in the Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, Israel’s military reminded the world that it had warned people living in targeted areas to leave. The response from Palestinians here was unanimous: Where should we go?
United Nations shelters are already brimming, and some Palestinians fear they are not safe; one shelter was bombed by Israel in a previous conflict. Many Gaza residents have sought refuge with relatives, but with large extended families commonly consisting of dozens of relatives, many homes in the shrinking areas considered safe are already packed.
Perhaps most important, the vast majority of Gazans cannot leave Gaza. They live under restrictions that make this narrow coastal strip, which the United Nations considers occupied by Israel, unlike anywhere else.
Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain in 2010 called Gaza “an open-air prison,” drawing criticism from Israel. But in reality, the vast majority of Gazans are effectively trapped, unable to seek refugee status across an international border. (Most are already refugees, those who fled from what is now Israel and their descendants.)
A 25-mile-long rectangle just a few miles wide, and one of the most densely populated places in the world, Gaza is surrounded by concrete walls and fences along its northern and eastern boundaries with Israel and its southern border with Egypt.
Even in what pass for ordinary times here, Israel permits very few Gazans to enter its territory, citing security concerns because suicide bombers and other militants from Gaza have killed Israeli civilians. The restrictions over the years have cost Palestinians jobs, scholarships and travel.
Egypt has also severely curtailed Gazans’ ability to travel, opening its border crossing with the territory for only 17 days this year. During the current fighting between Israel and the Hamas militants who control Gaza, only those with Egyptian or foreign passports or special permission were allowed to exit.
Even the Mediterranean Sea to the west provides no escape. Israel restricts boats from Gaza to three nautical miles offshore. And Gaza, its airspace controlled by Israel, has no airport.
So while three million Syrians have fled their country during the war there, more and more of Gaza’s 1.7 million people have been moving away from the edges of the strip and crowding into the already-packed center of Gaza City.
If I am unable to have custody signed over to me, Marley will go into foster care with the state. Her living situation is far from what she needs and I have been trying to figure out a way to get parental rights for the past year. Things she has been through with her parents have finally come to a head and this is my chance to finally take her away from an abusive and unstable household. Marley would prefer to live with me and she tells me every time I talk to her. I would really like to see her in the care of someone who loves and can support her. Since Marley is a teenager, the likelihood of her being adopted out is very slim. She would sit in a group home for four years until she ages out of the system.
Tashia is my best friend, and Marley is one of the sweetest people I have ever met. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE help if you can. Even just signal boosting this helps greatly. If Tashia does not raise these funds within a week, the state of Louisiana will put Marley into foster care.
UPDATES: I put a deposit/first month’s rent on an apartment today. I am packing now and getting ready for the drive down tomorrow night. Marley is super excited that she will be seeing me in less than two days.
Tashia is leaving within the next 24 hours. Please donate and/or spread the word if you can. Thank you!
fyi, the hobby lobby case only applies to their employees and women have 16 other choices for birth control that hobby lobby will pay for. obv u havent read anything about the case & just believe what the media tells u.
How do I loathe the newest rw talking point? Let me count the ways:
1. The Hobby Lobby case DOES NOT simply apply to it’s employees - it’s a national ~*precedence setting*~ case which will allow other employers to pick and choose what healthcare to provide for their women employees. Under the guise of “religious beliefs” for corporate entities, the table has been set to allow business owners to legally discriminate on any myriad of issues while simultaneously devaluing the rights and religious beliefs (or non-religious beliefs) of workers and individuals…ya know, actual flesh-n-blood people
2. The four rejected choices you’ve alluded to (Plan B aka "The Morning After Pill”; Ella, a similar emergency contraception; Copper Intra-Uterine Device; and the IUD with progestin) which are denied to ONLY the women employees constitutes gender discrimination, especially considering that Hobby Lobby covers medically unnecessary items like Viagra and elective surgeries (vasectomies) for it’s male employees
AND…this is important…if the abortive properties of of those four devices is really what Hobby Lobby objects to, then it’s very odd (and by ‘odd’ I mean completely BS) that Hobby Lobby does not also object to any of their approved 16 contraception medicines —because those also contain progestin, without which both the IUD and the “normal” birth control pill would be rendered inert objects incapable of preventing pregnancy
And oh yeah, one of the Hobby Lobby approved contraceptives is a straight up progestin injection, while the others include forms of “birth control” —for women— that are 100% dependent on the man deciding to use it, like vasectomies & condoms
Did I mention that female sterilization is one of the 16 approved forms of contraception by Steve Green and Hobby Lobby??
“Yes, my water has been shut off since Friday, May 16, and I have paid my bill in full ($32) on Monday, [May] 19, and still do not have water due to the extreme hurdle one has to comply with to get it turned back on, [including producing a] deed to the property, lease agreement-notarized, mortgage documents, tax records, driver’s licence, social security cards, notarized statements from the owners of the property, background checks, etc. My father’s house is in probate court and I cannot have the water turned on!”—The UN is being called on to prevent a catastrophic water shortage … in Detroit (via afrometaphysics)